Anal Cancer - Experiences

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General Information About Anal Cancer

Anal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the anus.

The anus is the end of the large intestine, below the rectum, through which stool (solid waste) leaves the body. The anus is formed partly from the outer skin layers of the body and partly from the intestine. Two ring-like muscles, called sphincter muscles, open and close the anal opening to let stool pass out of the body. The anal canal, the part of the anus between the rectum and the anal opening, is about 1 inches long.

The skin around the outside of the anus is called the perianal area. Tumors in this area are skin tumors, not anal cancer.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Jude, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 30

I have experienced anal cancer twice and have been told due to having blood clots after my last chemotherapy treatment I would not be able to have additional chemotherapy should my cancer return. Over the past seven years I have had numerous surgeries to include removal of 12" of my colon and now live with a colostomy. I was a heavy smoker and stopped almost 25 years ago. I discovered a lump close to the anus. If I had been going to my obstetrician/gynecologist on a regular basis and not to just an internist my cancer may have been discovered sooner through an examination.

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Comment from: cured21yrs, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

Lucky for me I found the right doctors with the perfect treatments for anal cancer; chemotherapy and radiation, no surgery! The problems that are not mentioned are long-term with chemotherapy and radiation forced early onset menopause and over 10 years of bowel incontinence. The anal sphincter is less than effective and it has caused numerous changes in my life: Not going out of my home without the fear of an incident. Food is selected by time of day, activity levels and distance from a bathroom. Quality of life issues are extremely affected with little or no support.

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